A Concise Grammar of the Malagasy Language/Numerals

Comparative Table of the Numerals.

cardinals. ordinals. fractionals. multiplicatives. times of doing.
Answering to, Fìry? How many? Answering to, Fàha-fìry? Which (in order)? Answering to, Ampahafì-riny? What part (of it)? Answering to, Impìry? How often? Answering to, Fàrimpìriny? What time of doing it?
1 ìsa, irày, iraìka fàhiraìka, &c. vòalòhany, &c. ... ... ... indrày ... ...
2 ròa
Vòalòhany (from lòha, 'head') is the usual word for 'first'. The remainder of the Ordinals are merely the Cardinals with fàha- prefixed to them, as in the case of fàhiraìka.
àmpaharòany indròa fànindròa.
3 tèlo àmpahatèlony intèlo fànintelo.
4 èfatra àmpahèfany inèfatra &c. &c.
5 dìmy àmpahadìminy, &c. indìmy
These are made by prefixing fàn- to the Multiplicatives, and are seldom used in the higher numbers. They are treated as nouns, take the suffix pronoun -ny (in which respect they resemble the Fractionals), and may be followed by a possessive case.
6 ènina
The Fractionals are made from the Cardinals by prefixing àmpaha-, and then affixing -ny.
Or from the Ordinals by prefixing am-, changing f into p, and then affixing -ny.
They are generally followed by a suffixed pronoun or a possessive case: and the numerator of a fraction is expressed, as in English, by a Cardinal; as, ròa àmpahatèlony, 'two-thirds of it'.
7 fìto impìto
8 vàlo imbàlo
9 sìvy intsìvy
10 fòlo impòlo
11 iràika àmby nỳ fòlo (or, iraìkàmbinifòlo) indràikàmbinifòlo
12 roàmbinifòlo indròàmbinifòlo
20 ròapòlo indròapòlo
21 iràikàmbiròapòlo indràikàmbiròapòlo
30 tèlopòlo intèlopòlo
40 èfapòlo inèfapòlo
50 dìmampòlo indìmampòlo
60 ènimpòlo inènimpòlo
70 fìtopòlo impìtopòlo
80 vàlopòlo inbàlopòlo
90 sìvifòlo intsìvifòlo
100 zàto injàto
500 dìmanàto indàmanjàto
1000 arìvo arìvo (not inarìvo)
10,000 irày àlina
100,000 irày hètsy
1,000,000 tàpitrìsa (contr. from tapitra ìsa, 'ended (the) numbers'.)
N.B.—The Multiplicatives are made from the Cardinals by prefixing in-, and making euphonic consonantal changes only in the following few cases:—nf into mp (impìto, impìtopòlo, impòlo); nv into mb (imbàlo, inbàlopòlo); ns into nts (intsìvy, intsìvifòlo); nz into nj (injàto).

Ìsa is used in counting (as ìsa, ròa, &c.—hence the verb manìsa, 'to count'); irày, as a numeral adjective (as, tràno irày, 'one house'); and iraìka, in compound numbers (as iraìkàmbinifòlo) only in the Hova dialect, but as equivalent to, and instead of, ìsa and irày, in several of the other dialects of Madagascar.

N.B.—In counting in Malagasy the units come first, then the tens, &c.: roàmbinifòlo (ròa àmby nỳ fòlo), 'twelve' (literally, two an addition to the ten).

Indrày alone means again; but when used as meaning once, the verb mandèha (to go) or the verb màka (to fetch) must be added; as, tsỳ àzo hànina indrày mandèha (or indrày màka izy), 'it cannot be eaten (at) once', or 'at one go'.

The Ordinals are often used as Fractionals (as, fahènimbàry, the sixth part of the rice-measure called vàry irày). And they are used of measurements; as, fàhafìry mòa nỳ trànonào?—Fàhadìmy. "How many (fathoms in length) is your house?—Five".

Distributives are made by doubling the Cardinals and prefixing tsi-; as, tsiràirày, 'one by one'; tsiròaròa, 'two by two'. Some of the numerals have verbal forms in mi- or man-, as follows:—

Mifìry, to be divided into how many? miròa, to be divided into two; mitèlo, to be divided into three, &c.

Firìna? (passive participle of mifìry)— divided into how many? telòina, divided into three; efàrina, divided into four, &c. They also have imperative moods:—telòy, divide it into three; èfaro, divide it into four, &c.

Mànindròa (manào indròa), to do (a thing) twice.

Mànintèlo, to do (a thing) thrice.

Indràosina, 'being done twice'; ìntelòina, 'being done thrice'. These are sometimes used as the passive participles of the corresponding verbs, mànindròa, mànintèlo, &c.

Number of days is expressed by turning the cardinals into abstract nouns in ha—ana; as, hàfirìana? 'how many days'? indrò-àndro, (indròa àndro), 'two days'; hàtelòana, 'three days'; hefàrana, 'four days', &c.

N.B.—The only known exception to this rule is in the use of indrò-àndro, instead of haròana, for 'two days'.

Another thing to be remembered is that, while an adjective generally follows its noun (as, tràno tsàra, 'a good house'), the numeral (i.e. the cardinal) is often placed before a noun; as, ròa làhy, 'two men'.